Coffee Stain Photoshop Effect Tutorial

Last Updated: 22nd June 2016

A simple coffee stain effect.

As someone who drinks a dozen cups of tea and coffee every day, adding a coffee stain effect to a project would be as easy as printing it out and using it as a coaster for five minutes. However, for those of you out there who have slightly less ridiculous caffeine consumption habits habits, this tutorial might be for you. In this post I’m going to go over one of my favorite methods of getting an easy coffee stain effect in photoshop.

1. Setting Up Your Document

First off, open up Photoshop and create a new document. Then you want to set your background colour. For this, you’ll want to start with a light brown colour as a background.

2. Create Or Import Your Shape

Once your document and background is set up, you’ll want to import or create a shape (or text) in a new layer, and then rename the layer to “Coffee Stain.”

In this example, I’m using one of my coffee stain vectors from a previous post.

3. Layer Settings

Next, set the blend mode of this layer to Colour Burn. You will also want to lower this layers ‘fill’ to somewhere between 20% and 40%

4. Layer Styles

Next, double click on the Coffee Stain layer to open the Layer Style window.
Here, we’re going to add an ‘Inner Glow’ effect. Set the blend mode to ‘Colour Burn’, make the glow colour the same, or similar, to the background colour, and adjust the size and opacity to taste.

After that, we’re going to add an ‘Outer Glow’ effect, using similar settings to the inner glow. Again, set the blend mode to ‘Colour Burn’ and make the glow colour similar to the background colour. Adjust size and opacity to taste.

5. Opacity And Fill Adjustments

At this point I’d like to briefly go over what the fill and opacity settings are doing here. Lowering the fill will reduce the transparency of your original shape without effecting the layer styles we’ve just set up. For instance, setting the fill to zero will make your original shape disappear completely, but the glow we set up in the previous steps remains intact. Opacity, however, will effect both the original shape and the layer styles. Keep this in mind when making adjustments to these settings.


In this example, I’ve increased the fill slightly and lowered the opacity to 60%.

6. Text

This effect can be applied to a text layer as well.

Background Texture

As a finishing touch, you can add a textured background to add to the stained paper effect. In this example, I’m using a couple of stained paper textures I found on Lost And Taken.

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